Topical Animal Insecticides not recommended for treating head lice

24 February 2011

Taranaki Medical Officer of Health, Dr Greg Simmons, is issuing a warning to the public not to use topical animal insecticides for treating head lice infestation.

The warning follows several anecdotal reports that some parents have been using topical animal insecticides such as Spoton® and Frontline® on their children’s scalp.

“Topical animal insecticides are designed specifically for animals that have relatively thick skin and coarse hair which means that they absorb less of the pesticide than children,” said Dr Simmons.

“Children are more susceptible to the toxic effects of these animal treatments and their use should be avoided.”

“Head lice in children is a perennial and often recurring problem. From time to time reports surface of the use of a range of treatments by frustrated parents including kerosene and other solvents, fly-sprays and topical animal insecticides.  All of these agents should be avoided as they are harmful.”

Pharmacies stock a range of treatments for head lice for purchase over the counter and pharmacy staff can provide advice about the most appropriate type to use. These products should, however, be used strictly as directed.”

For more information please call

Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789


Last updated: Thursday, February 24, 2011

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